Documents released by the Escambia Country Sheriff’s Office indicate that Pamela Long Wiggins’ husband has been granted “limited immunity” for his testimony in the Byrd and Melanie Billings murder case, but as you’ll see below, Hugh Wiggins knew plenty about the murders. See Update 10-25-09 below.
With the document-drop earlier this week, we have learned a lot about Hugh Wiggins. He was a fairly close friend of Patrick Gonzalez, who is believed to be the lone shooter in the murders.
A Sheriff Department’s interview with Lonnie Smith, also a long time friend of Gonzales, said he met with Patrick and Hugh Wiggins about two years ago. A year later, Smith says he met with them both again aboard the Wiggins’ yacht, Classy Lady. In fact, Smith said that Hugh Wiggins threatened him after being a part of a meeting in a condo in Gulf Breeze with Patrick, Gary Sumner (also charged in the murders) and Hugh Wiggins. Gonzalez asked Smith to work “security” for a job they had coming up. Smith said he could not get any details out of Gonzalez, but eventually Patrick said “this guys got a safe over there.” According to Smith, he declined the job, but when the meeting was over Hugh Wiggins threatend him:
…if I got wind tht you said anything, you know me…you’d go on a vacation you’d never come back from.
Lonnie Smith says Patrick Gonzalez, Jr. called him thirteen times the day the Billings were murdered:
I was like dude, I don’t know what the hell you keep calling me for, you’re not gonna get me to, to do this thing,” said Smith. When asked how much money Gonzalez Jr. thought was in the safe, he said “a couple million dollars.”
So Patrick Gonzalez’ spent time with Hugh Wiggins, without Pam, at least 1-1/2 years before Hugh and Pam were married.
In Pam Long Wiggin’s interview with Investigator Robert Guy on July 12th at Wiggins’ home, she is identified as Pamela Long (here maiden name), not Pamela Wiggins. She told Guy that she had only known Patrick Gonzalez “six or seven months.” She said she met him through her boyfriend, Hugh Wiggins, and she said Wiggins worked off shore.
Pam said Hugh asked Patrick to help Pam if and when she needed help, as he [Hugh] was gone a lot on his job…things like moving furniture and help with her rental properties. Gonzalez then asked Pam if she had a vacant house because he and his family needed a place to live. They moved into one of her properties in Victoria Village, and Pam said that is how she got to know Patrick and his wife Tabitha. Tabitha, she said, was “doing property management for me on the condo…the family will “come over and barbeque and go swimming and stuff:
…when I heard all this a couple of day ago, I didn’t know what to say…
Long-Wiggins said she had been with Tabitha Gonzalez several times since the murder cleaning rental properties. Tabitha said it was all a mistake, and then Tabitha called Pam and apologized because authorities had been to the rental house, taped it off, done a search, etc. She pleaded with Pam “please don’t throw us out.” Wiggins said:
“well, Tabitha, I’m not going to do that till, I mean this doesn’t even make any sense to me, this is not people that I know.”
But of course, Pam Long Wiggins knew about quite a bit at this point.
Pam told the police the last time she saw Patrick was “last week” when he borrowed her van a couple of times. She could not remember the exact days because her doctor had her on Prozac and Wellbutrin. She said she was having a difficult time remembering things and she had not been to work.
When asked if she knew any of Patrick’s friends, she said she had met his dad, and occasionally met others when they were running errands together. She wasn’t involved with any of them and she never took martial arts lessons from him.
I’ve been having a lot of, the last couple of months some issues going to the doctor and I’m on Prozac and Wellbutrin and he changed my medication about three weeks ago.
The investigator pushed her on the exact day she last saw Patrick, and she is not clear on that, and says “but you know, they’re family friends, I see them most every day probably.”
He asks if she let Patrick borrow any guns? She said no. He asks if Long is her maiden name and she responds affirmatively. He asks if she has relatives in the car business. She says no. He asks if she knows Cab Tice and she says no. He asks if her son “hangs out with Patrick? She says “he’s seen him,” but they don’t hang out.” Pamela seems to refer to her son as “Harris,” but from what I’ve read his name is Casey.
Investigator Guy tells Pamela:
“we’ve gotten information that you, that you did loan them some guns, okay? And you advised that there are some weapons in your house?
She responds affirmatively” She identified two handguns in her bedroom, and some downstairs. Guy asks, “so when we check the guns, nobody’s going to have used them…you’ve had control of those guns the entire time…” and she responds yes. She says at no time did she loan Patrick or any of his friends guns.
The Investigator asks if Patrick came to her house Friday [that’s the day after the murders]. She says again she doesn’t remember exactly.
The Sheriff’s Department report, in an interview with Hugh Wiggins and his lawyer, Eric Stevenson, said the following:
ASA Greg Marcielle explained the limited immunity to Hugh Wiggins at the beginning of the statement and afterwards I read to Hugh Wiggins his Miranda Warning…
In this Mirandized interview, Hugh Wiggins tells authorities where his wife Pam hid the safe stolen at the time the Billings were murdered, and where she hid a gun used in the murders. The Investigator said he later learned another weapon was found in the same location, a 9MM handgun, under the back seat of Pam’s “70’s model GS.
The Investigator asked about weapons used in the crime, and Wiggins “reported dropping some long guns off with a friend of his in Mississippi.” This appears to mean that Hugh Wiggins took the weapons to a “friend” in Mississippi after the murders. After this statement from Wiggins, Special Agents from the ATF visited the home of a Mississippi man, Ed Denson, and “recovered:”
two Mossbert .12 guage Shotguns, a MAK 90 assault rifle, a Ruger mini-14, and a .223 cal AR variant rifle along with several magazines and ammunition for the various rifles.”
The weapons above were “placed into evidence.”
In a later interview with Ed Denson by investigators, Denson said he was a long time friend of Hugh Wiggins. He said Wiggins contacted him a “couple days before ” meeting with Pam and Hugh Wiggins who “advised that he had some weapons on him that he could not take to the oil rig job he was working.” Denson booked a motel room for Hugh and Pam and took the weapons from them. Denson said he knew nothing about the murders.
Also reported, Hugh and Pamela Wiggins purchased .223 caliber ammunition from an Academy Sports store in the area.
Investigators have interviewed Jean Duncan, a friend of Pamela Wiggins and Duncan thinks Hugh Wiggins is a scary guy.
Duncan says a short time before the murders she stopped by the Wiggins home. Duncan and Pam had been friends for about 8 years. Duncan did maintenance for Pam’s rental properties. Jean and her friend Glen were there to give Pam an estimate for a paint job.
Hugh opened the door and said they should go upstairs because he and Pam were expecting people to arrive for a meeting. Duncan said she immediately felt uncomfortable. They went upstairs anyway. It was a new house and Duncan had not been there before. When she got to the top of the stairs, Pam showed Duncan wedding photos of her marriage to Hugh. Jean was shocked and said “but you are married.” Pam ignored it. Duncan repeated it and again Pam ignored the statement. Pamela Wiggins was legally married to Jimmy Malden when she married Hugh Wiggins in December 2008.
Hugh Wiggins asked Duncan’s friend Glen if he liked to make money and if he had any qualms about how he made it. Duncan said she was “scared to death of Hugh Wiggins.” She believed Pam was “high on something” that day, and she believed Wiggins was keeping her friend drugged.
While upstairs, people arrived for “the meeting.” Duncan and Glen said they had to leave, without giving their estimate for a paint job, and when they got downstairs, Patrick Gonzalez, Jr. was there with a White man later identified as Wayne Coldiron (now charged with murder). Glen says he saw a Black man in the backyard.
Duncan told investigators that something was wrong that day…something was going on.
So now Hugh Wiggins has been granted limited immunity for the murder of Byrd and Melanie Billings – a murder he may have know about.
Hugh Wiggins’ wife, Pamela Long Wiggins was in jail for “accessory after the fact” in the murders, and then arrested again for bigamy and food stamp fraud. A few days ago, her bond was raised from $10,000 to $50,000 due to possible flight risk. Pamela married Hugh Wiggins on December 31, 2008. The accused murderer of Byrd “Bud” and Melanie Billings, Patrick Gonzalez, Jr., signed the Wiggins’ marriage license, along with his wife, Tabitha Gonzalez.
This report says that Escambia Country Sheriff David Morgan has confirmed that Hugh Wiggins is a “person of interest in the murders of Byrd and Melanie Billings.
Photo courtesy of Pensacola News Journal – see more.